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IGS Young Members: Down To Earth – An Interview With Lucía Isabel Dávila

Lucía Isabel Dávila has loved civil engineering since childhood. Here, Lucía, who has been involved with the Young Members Committee (YMC) since 2017 and is currently the chair of the YMC’s South America region, shares her journey in geosynthetics.

Name: Lucía Isabel Dávila

Institution: National Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH.

Can you summarise your experience of working with geosynthetics?

I had the privilege of studying at University of Brasilia where my Masters dissertation supervisor was Professor Ennio M Palmeira. I conducted one year of research on flow-through damages in PVC geomembranes. I had the chance to participate at the IGS Student Award Session at GeoAmericas 2020, where I represented Honduras. I am also currently helping to organize the student award for the next EuroGeo, GeoAfrica and GeoAsia conferences.

What inspired you to enter civil engineering and the geosynthetics industry?

As a little girl I ‘built’ highways, water reservoirs using trash bags and mud houses in our backyard, so I could say I have been in love with civil engineering since my childhood. I chose my career because I loved numbers.

The first time I heard about geosynthetics was during a conference as an undergraduate student. A sales engineer from one of the geosynthetic companies presented geosynthetics to us. I was hooked.

I had the great opportunity to be part of the geosynthetics research group at University of Brasilia, led by Prof. Palmeira, and admired the work of all of the other students supervised by him.

I believe geosynthetics are the present and the future of engineering, and I continue to be inspired by the way they contribute to the development of a wide range of engineering works in many industries.

What advice do you have for other young members in the industry?

I would urge them to keep researching, learning, working hard and to get involved in the IGS Young Member activities, because it is an excellent opportunity to be a part of a great network of professionals.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside work?

I like to cook, and I enjoy spending time with my family. Before the quarantine, we loved to visit the beach.

Are you a fan of music? If so do you have a favourite album?

Yes, I love all kinds of music. One of my favorite bands is Coldplay and my favorite albums are Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head.